Thembinkosi Sekgaphane
Phakaaathi Digital Administrator
1 minute read
7 Oct 2015
2:04 pm

Pirates to dethrone Al-Ahly as Africa’s powerhouse?

Thembinkosi Sekgaphane

Former Orlando Pirates midfield maestro Helman Mkhalele believes the current crop of players the Orlando giants have in their ranks can be as dominant as some of Europe's best teams.

Mpho Makola of Orlando Pirates gets away from Saadeldin Samir Saad Ali, Ahmed Fathi and Housam Mohamed Ashour of Al Ahly during the 2015 CAF Confederation Cup semifinal, first leg football match between Orlando Pirates and Al Ahly of Egypt at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on 26 September, 2015 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Writing on his column in the Phakaaathi, the Midnight Express said Pirates have what it takes to rule the continent and domestic league much like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

“Pirates will be able to win trophies both here at home and continentally. They can be as dominant as clubs like Al Ahly, even Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich,” said Mkhalele.

Al Ahly is one of the most decorated team in Africa, having won the CAF Champions League a record eight times.

Among other continental accolades, the Egyptian side has picked up four African Cup Winners Cups, six CAF Super Cups and one Caf Confederation Cup (The African Cup Winners’ Cup was merged with the CAF Cup to form the CAF Confederations Cup in 2004).

Meanwhile, Mkhalele has pointed out a few factors that he believes will work in Pirates favour when they face CAF Confederations Cup final foes, Etoile Sahel.

“Pirates are developing a great fighting spirit. If you look at the mentality of the players, the tactical organisation, they have grown. They are able to play their normal style in another country. It will depend on how motivated these players are,” concluded the 1995 Caf Champions League winner.